Fare Forward Essay Contest 2016
At the 2016 Augustine Collective Retreat, James K. A. Smith described our cultural moment on American college campuses as “cross-pressured.” That is, Western culture remains deeply influenced by its Christian past while it has also broken from that past in dramatic ways. To illustrate this cross-pressured situation, he used the example of two paintings hanging in a single hallway: one a classic portrait of a Christian saint, the other a postmodern image that evokes and subverts Christian iconography but still testifies to that iconography’s enduring influence and power. With our foundational commitment to “consider the future and the past with an equal mind,” Fare Forward locates our own mission at just this kind of intersection.
Your task: Curate a conversation between two texts, one from a Christian perspective and written earlier than 600 AD, the other from a secular perspective and published since 1960. Craft an essay that explores what these two works might have to say to one another. How do they share common themes, values, or questions? What do these shared concerns say about Christianity’s truth, beauty, or relevance? Essays will be evaluated by the editors of Fare Forward for intellectual rigor, clarity, audience appropriateness, and potential to provoke dialogue.
Essays must be no fewer than 2,000 and no greater than 3,000 words in length. To be considered for the prize, essays must be published in a student journal. Fare Forward will present a prize of $300 to the author of the best essay. Augustine Collective will present a $1,000 prize to the publishing journal.
Email submissions as .doc or .docx files to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the author’s name, class year, school, and indicate which issue the article appeared in (Spring 2016 or forthcoming Fall 2016 only). All entries must be received by December 31st, 2016.
The winner will be announced at the 2017 Augustine Collective Retreat.
You may wish to read the winner of the 2015 Fare Forward Essay Contest, The Desire for a Relational God Behind Kurt Vonnegut’s “EPICAC” by Emily Lau ’17 of The Columbia Crown & Cross.
Tags: Fare Forward, James KA Smith